Pont took the Gold Medal with a race to spare so the fight was on for Silver and Bronze. The men Gold fleet were the first off, and it was Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) who was first to the windward mark, a position he held to the end. Behind him the battle was on between Nikos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) and Gal FRIDMAN (ISR), both previous World Champions, for the Silver and Bronze. Neither of these two were up at the front of the pack, and had to fight their way through the fleet, pumping all the way.
Going into the final race the Silver and Bronze medal could have gone amongst a number of sailors beside Nikos and Gal. Fighting to the end Joao RODRIGUES (POR), Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) and Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) were still in with a chance and put in some excellent performances, particularly Nick who took his first bullet of the series,
Not such a good regatta for some of the rest of the worldâ€™s top 10, with aside from the medallists, all of whom are at the top of the rankings, only Jon Paul TOBIN (NZL) and Joeri VAN DIJK (NED) the world ranked number 2 and 4 respectively featuring in the top ten results here in Cadiz.
This is of course all down to the conditions which with the stronger winds prevailing, suited the heavier sailors. Speaking to the sailors, the last time they can remember conditions as good as Cadiz was back at the 1995 Worlds.
In respect of qualification for the 2004 Olympic Regatta, the top 12 finishing sailors represented nations that had already qualified from the 2002 Mistral World Championships. Therefore, subject to ISAF ratification qualification from the 2003 ISAF World Championship goes the following fifteen nations:
Cyprus, China, Australia, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Italy, USA, Slovak Republic, Russia, Venezuela.
Nations qualified from the 2002 Mistral World Championships are:
Israel, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Argentina, Portugal, New Zealand, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Hungary, Netherlands.
A further 7 nations will qualify from the results of the 2004 Mistral World Championships.